Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Ave Maria!
Ascension Thursday—5 May AD 2016

Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English

In the Night Office, Pope Leo the Great told us:
“The Ascension of Christ is exaltation for us,
and where the the glory of the Head of the Church has gone,
there is the hope that the body of the Church will be called on to follow.”[1]

    In his first epistle to the Corinthians (the fifteenth chapter), Saint Paul discusses the reality of our Lord’s resurrection.

    Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and …He was buried; and … He rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures; and … He appeared to Cephas, and after that to the Eleven. Then He was seen by more than five hundred brethren at one time, many of whom are with us still, but some have fallen asleep.[2]

    For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead.  And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.[3]

    It is because of the sacrificial death and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that we have hope of our own resurrection from the dead.  Today, we come to understand that this resurrection of ours will be more than the conquering of earthly death.  The resurrection will not simply return us to to the physical life we had before death, but rather, as in His Ascension, Jesus “was lifted up into heaven, so that He might make us partakers of His Godhead.”[4]  Jesus did not lose His human nature when He was taken up to Heaven.  Pope Leo went on to say that the humanity of Jesus Christ ascended to the very throne of God the Father Himself, and that in the Person of Jesus, our humanity can be said already to dwell far above all other created beings—including, even, the Angels and the Archangels:

    It [human nature] takes Its seat at the right hand of the Eternal Father, Sharer of His throne, and Partaker of His glory, and still of the very human nature which the Son has taken upon Himself.

    In this we see our own destiny.  Human nature has been exalted above all nature, and Christ has—in advance—joined us to Himself and to His Father.

    If there could be any question, we have also seen the divine plan in the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The saintly Pope Pius XII was to declare that

... the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.[5]

    Mary, of course, was predestined to this early coronation as Queen of Heaven by virtue of her Immaculate Conception.  From all eternity God knew that Mary would be the specific woman whom He would place at enmities with the devil, whose foot would crush the head of the serpent.[6]  From eternity, Mary was the sinless Virgin—Queen Mother to Christ the King.  Given Mary’s role in God’s plan, her bodily assumption seems to go without saying.

    We have no such eternal guarantee.  None of us is sinless like the Blessed Virgin.  Not only were we born in original sin, but we have all personally chosen to disobey God’s Will an uncountable number of times.

    Nonetheless, the events of the past forty-odd days have demonstrated God’s desire to redeem us from our sins.  Our Lord suffered and died for us on the Cross, He rose from the dead, and on this day took our human nature to the heights of Heaven.  During those same forty-odd days He gave us the Instruments by which we are to join Him and His holy mother in heaven—His Holy Sacraments.  On the very night before His death, He gave us body and blood to nourish the graces of our baptismal innocence.  On the night of His resurrection, He gave His priests the power to forgive the sins of the contrite.  And on this very day of His Ascension, He commanded them to “teach all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Teaching them to observe all I have commanded you.”[7]

    We have the instruments!  It remains for us to work diligently in their use:  frequent Confession and Communion, coupled with the will to do all He has commanded us.  Prayer to the Blessed Virgin, already at His side.

    If we make diligent use of these tools, we can say together with Pope Leo the Great:

“The Ascension of Christ is exaltation for us,
and where the glory of the Head of the Church has gone,
there is the hope that the body of the Church will be called on to follow.”



[7]   Matthew xxviii: 19-20   Cf. today’s Gospel: Mark xvi: 14-20


Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!